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U.S. Treasury sanctions Petroleos de Venezuela

Jaclyn Jaeger | January 29, 2019

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela under Executive Order 13850 for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.

As Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PdVSA has long been a vehicle for corruption. A variety of schemes have been designed to embezzle billions of dollars from PdVSA for the personal gain of corrupt Venezuelan officials and businessmen. For example, a 2014 currency exchange scheme was designed to embezzle and launder around $600 million from PdVSA, money obtained through bribery and fraud. By May 2015, the conspiracy had allegedly doubled in amount to $1.2 billion embezzled from PdVSA.

Abraham Edgardo Ortega, a Venezuelan national who was PdVSA’s executive director of financial planning, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in the billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from...

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